It is peach time in the Texas Hill Country and the city of Stonewall celebrated their 51st JAMboree over the weekend of June 16th-17th. Many activities were undertaken such as a rodeo, parade, peach show, music along with simply enjoying a bite out of a delicious peach. This year’s crop looks to be excellent benefiting from a perfect combination of cool winter nights, wonderful rainfall, and the lack of any late freezes.
Gillespie County is the largest peach-producing county in Texas with over 1,400 acres in commercial production. This accounts for 40% of Texas’ peach crop. The soil throughout the area is filled with minerals and micronutrients that make the peach flavor content more complex. The day to night temperature variation due primarily to the 1700 foot altitude helps make the sweet flavors more intense. These are the best peaches grown in Texas by fact and choice.
Early peaches such as Springold and Bicentennial began to ripen in mid-May while varieties such as Jefferson and Jersey Queen generally come off in July. During a normal growing season twelve different varieties of peaches are harvested. As you drive up and down highway 290 between Fredericksburg and Johnson City you will see many opportunities to stop and buy peaches. Some farms will even let you pick your own!
Whether you are eating a Cling or a Freestone peach, don’t forget the wine. Many Messina Hof wines are great when paired with peaches. However, nothing beats the combination of peaches with our Messina Hof Hill Country Chenin Blanc or Merrill’s Vineyard Muscat Canelli. The intense flavors of the peach really heighten the crispness and fruitiness of these wines. A stop by the Messina Hof Hill Country Winery nestled-in around the many peach vendors is a “must-do.”
After you have your wine and peaches, be sure to try this great receipe:
Take ripe peaches and halve them removing the pit.
Place peaches on a hot-open grill and toast them, turning once or twice.
When they are ready- with nice grill marks, remove and place a generous spoonful of sour cream on each peach and top with dried cranberries. Serve this as desert or it even works alongside a grass-fed, Texas raised steak. Don’t forget the wine! Serve & enjoy.